Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Bee Gees and more very early hits

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The Bee Gees, or The Brothers Gibb, started singing professionally in 1960 when Barry was 14 and his twin brothers were 11.

As we've mentioned in other posts, these tunes, such as "Wine and women" & "Monday's rain" were recorded when the brothers were teens and trying to establish themselves as a pop group.

These songs were never heard outside of Australia until ATCO released two LP's of the early material in 1969. The LP's were called "Rare, precious and beautiful"!

Nevertheless, they were very early signals of their incredible harmonies and songwriting potential.

It was these songs, and others, that persuaded Robert Stigwood to give the brothers an international recording contract in London 1967.

The rest is musical history......Barry was 19 and his brothers were 16 when they had their first international hit, i.e. "Spicks and specks".

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

'I'm down" and other rare B-sides by The Beatles

In The Beatles' 45's collection, there are 3 very strange B-sides. 

They did not make it to an LP when originally released. 

In fact, they were hidden until the 2-volume CD released in the late 90s. ("Past Masters, volume 1 and 2")

The first one is "I'm down". It was the US B-side of the big hit "Help". The lyrics are repetitious but the song is catchy.

This song reminds rock fans of "Long Tall Sally", a Fats Domino song from a very early album.

The second choice is "The Inner Light", the US B-side of "Lady Madonna". 

On this one, George Harrison plays the sitar and sings. The lyrics are interesting, specially if you are into a lot of meditation and philosophy.

I am not sure what all of those profound lyrics mean but it does have a nice melody.

The last one is a classic. 

It really shows that The Beatles had a big sense of humor. "You know my name, look up my number" was the US B-side of "Let it be".   The songs' lyrics are the title over and over again.

The Beatles wrote and recorded many great songs. These are not among them.  Yet, they were fun to listen to now that they are available in a digital format!

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The Bee Gees, memories and a great medley

Over the last several years, we've blogged and posted about the amazing Bee Gees, or Brothers Gibb. (They celebrated 50 years in 2010!)

Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb started singing when they were kids growing up in the UK and then Australia.  

Eventually, they got an international recording contract in 1967.

Barry was 20 and the twins were 17 when they had their first international hit.

Robin died in 2012 and Maurice in 2003.   Nevertheless, they left us many recordings or memories.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Odessa": A very interesting song (and very sad love story) by Bee Gees

Odessa - Bee Gees BR
Today, we recall one of The Bee Gees' most interesting tunes, a very sad love story about a man shipwrecked in the North Atlantic.

Robin sings the lead and Barry & Maurice do some awesome background vocals.    It was the title song of their 1969 LP.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

We remember Robin Gibb (1949-2012)

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Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees died in 2012.    Robin and twin brother Maurice were born in 1949.    Maurice died in 2003.

Along with Barry and the aforementioned Maurice, the three brothers formed
The Bee Gees. They wrote and recorded some of the greatest songs of the pop era.

The Gibbs were born in England but grew up in Australia. By 1967, when Barry was 21 and the twins were only 18, The Bee Gees hit the US charts with "New York Mining Disaster". As they say, the brothers had a lot of international hits after that!

Robin's voice gave The Bee Gees a very special sound. He sang the lead vocals in several of The Bee Gees' big hits, such as "I started a joke".

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The summer of 1967 and The Bee Gees

Summer is here and it's time to think back and recall some of our favorite summer memories.

Let me remember the summer of 1967 and The Bee Gees.

In the spring of '67, Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb released their first US album.  It was called "First" and it included three of their greatest songs:  "New York Mining Disaster 1941", "To love somebody" & "Holiday".

There were others, such as "Turn of the Century" and "Cucumber Castle".

The Bee Gees "First" sounds as fresh today as it did back then. I bought the CD version and the brothers are great.

"Horizontal" (the second album) was released later in the winter and it included "Massachusetts", "World", & "And the Sun will shine", and quite a few others.

It was enough to make me a Bee Gees' fan!

As this summer ends, let's remember the Bee Gees 1967 and wonderful music!

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1968 was a great year for The Bee Gees

The Bee Gees recorded music from the mid-1960's until Maurice died in 2003.  They recorded a bunch of 45's and albums and sold millions of them.

According to Billboard, The Bee Gees rank 3rd among groups for Most "Hot 100" number ones in history!

Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb's songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Streisand, Englebert Humperdink, Dionne Warwick, and many others.

In 1967, they hit the US market.   At the end of '67, they recorded "Massachusetts", their biggest hit up to that moment.   

The album "Idea" was released in the summer of '68 and it featured "I've gotta get a message to you" & "I started a joke", a couple of Top 10 hits in the US and million sellers around the world.

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A couple of CD boxes to look back at The Bee Gees' career

Back in 2010, The Bee Gees celebrated their 50th anniversary, i,e. an amazing professional career that began in 1960 in Australia.

Two special CD box sets were released to remember their big hits and songwriting skills.

According to Billboard, it is a great way to remember such a special anniversary:
""Mythology" is a four-disc box set curated and produced by surviving Bee Gees Barry and Robin Gibb that will dedicate one disc each to the three brothers in the group, including the late Maurice Gibb, and one to their late younger brother Andy Gibb.

Maurice's wife and three children chose the tracks for his disc, while Andy's daughter Peta chose the 19 songs for his section of the package.
Barry Gibb notes that the 81 selections represent "pretty much our personal favorites," and Robin and Maurice's discs will each feature solo tracks as well as Bee Gees songs.

Barry's disc, meanwhile, is loaded up with hits such as "Jive Talkin'," "Stayin' Alive," "Night Fever," "Spirits (Having Flown)," "More Than a Woman" an "Tragedy."

The accompanying booklet includes family photos and tributes from Elton John, Brian Wilson, Graham Nash, George Martin and Robert Stigwood, the Bee Gees' longtime manager and label boss.

Coming out the same day is "The Ultimate Bee Gees: The 50th Anniversary Collection," a more modest two-disc, 39-track set that closes with a live medley of songs the trio wrote for others -- including "Islands in the Stream," "Heartbreaker," "Guilty," "Immortality" and the theme song for "Grease."

A deluxe edition of "The Ultimate Bee Gees" will come with a DVD featuring videos and TV appearances, many unreleased, from throughout the group's career."
It should be fun!

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

D-Day and a chance to salute heroes like Robert Jagers!

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